BlackBerry Z10 review

Reviews 17 May, 2013

Updated: The Z10 is a beautifully crafted device with excellent messaging capabilities.

4
Pros: 
Intuitive OS, Smooth performance; removable battery
Cons: 
Internet performance could be better; Lack of flagship apps on launch
Verdict: 
An excellent effort from BlackBerry, the BB10 OS is smooth and has all the key features you'd expect. It's easy to navigate and the messaging hub is the best on any platform. The hardware included in the Z10 is also up there with iPhone and Galaxy S3.

BlackBerry delayed its BB10 handsets twice before finally launching the flagship Z10 in the UK on 1 February. (UPDATE: On 14th May 2013, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced Z10 users would soon get the 10.1 software update)

Although analysts and naysayers have said the Canadian firm has waited too long to release its latest smartphones, we can confirm that BlackBerry has created an excellent device, proving that good things come to those who wait.

Everything has been revamped – from the design of the handset to the operating system. Even seasoned BlackBerry users will find the Z10 completely different to anything they have used before. And this is a good thing.

BB10 OS Interface

Built on the QNX code base which was introduced in the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet – the BB10 operating system has been fine-tuned for use on a smartphone.

The homescreen is consistently changing so the device adapts to how you use it. It allows you to access any of the last eight applications you were using – which is handy. There are no fancy Live Tiles or widgets draining power and your apps, messages and settings are always just a flick away.

The interface relies entirely on four main gestures for interaction as there are no physical buttons on the front. These are explained in a tutorial when you first start up the smartphone, and are so easy to understand it will take you about 30 seconds to pick them up.

Left to right; Home screen; Message Hub; Quick Settings; Apps

Swiping from the bottom of the display will take you back to the homescreen. A flick from the left hand edge will take you to your BlackBerry Message Hub and flick from the right will take you to your apps.

Meanwhile, a swipe down from the top will allow you to access controls for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, screen rotation, notifications, as well as shortcuts for the settings and the alarm. Simples.

BlackBerry Hub

Messaging is at the heart of the BB10 OS and the BlackBerry Hub, in our opinion, is the best messaging aggregation and notification system of any mobile operating system. It fits all your accounts together like a jigsaw puzzle.

The Hub has Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter integrated into it, so you can reply to a message without having to open up individual apps. It’s possible to sync up work and personal email. The Hub separates messages by account clearly and aggregates them together so you can see everything in one place as well.

You are never more a swipe away from your messages. Even if you are in an app – you simply swipe up an upside down “L” shape from the bottom of the screen to bring up the Hub.

Specifications: 

OS: BB10

Display: 4.2in 1280 x 768, 356PPI

Processor: 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual-core

RAM: 2GB

Internal storage: 16GB + micro SD support up to 32GB

Camera: 8-megapixel rear w/Flash, autofocus, 1080p HD recording, 2-megapixel front

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, 4G

Ports: micro USB, micro HDMI

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